Supply up in large cities
Housing inventory in the 50 largest U.S. metros overall jumped by 27.9% over last year in June.
Metros that saw the most inventory growth include Austin (+144.5%), Phoenix (+113.2%), and Raleigh (+111.7%) — all cities that saw booming demand for housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homes continue to sell relatively quickly. In the 50 largest U.S. cities, homes spent an average of 28 days on the market — 2 fewer days on the market compared to June 2021.
The share of newly listed smaller homes (up to 1750 square feet) declined year over year, while the share of homes larger than 1750 square feet increased, suggesting that buyers are choosing to purchase less expensive homes.
Interest rates continue to influence purchasing
The Federal Reserve continues to try and dampen inflation by increasing interest rates. This has led to a rise in mortgage rates as well, making it more difficult for homebuyers to afford a home.
This also means many Americans are choosing to wait it out to see if mortgage rates reach a peak, or start to decline.
The Fed’s benchmark rate will end the year at 3.4%, according to the midpoint of the target range of individual members’ expectations. That could lead to more homes on the market in the near future as Americans decide now isn’t the time to buy.
The worst situation in 15 years
Affordability has hit a 15-year low with median home prices climbing to record highs, according to data service ATTOM.
It would take the average American more than one-third of their wages to cover homeownership expenses, higher than the recommended 28%, ATTOM’s data report states.
Of the 575 counties analyzed in their most recent report, 560 were less affordable than the year before. That’s 97% of counties compared to 69% in 2021. This makes it the highest point since 2007, just before the Great Recession and housing crash.
“Extraordinarily low levels of homes for sale combined with strong demand have caused home prices to soar over the last few years,” said Rick Sharga, vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM.
“With interest rates almost doubling, homebuyers are faced with monthly mortgage payments that are between 40 and 50% higher than they were a year ago — payments that many prospective buyers simply can’t afford.”
Fine art as an investment
Stocks can be volatile, cryptos make big swings to either side, and even gold is not immune to the market’s ups and downs.
That’s why if you are looking for the ultimate hedge, it could be worthwhile to check out a real, but overlooked asset: fine art.
Contemporary artwork has outperformed the S&P 500 by a commanding 174% over the past 25 years, according to the Citi Global Art Market chart.
And it’s becoming a popular way to diversify because it’s a real physical asset with little correlation to the stock market.
On a scale of -1 to +1, with 0 representing no link at all, Citi found the correlation between contemporary art and the S&P 500 was just 0.12 during the past 25 years.
Earlier this year, Bank of America investment chief Michael Harnett singled out artwork as a sharp way to outperform over the next decade — due largely to the asset’s track record as an inflation hedge.
Investing in art by the likes of Banksy and Andy Warhol used to be an option only for the ultrarich. But with a new investing platform, you can invest in iconic artworks just like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates do.